Shane Cooper (striped shirt) with his Mabuta band members.
Photo by Aidan Tobias courtesy Shane Cooper
The album Follow the Sun shows how South African jazz draws from diversity to speak fluidly across borders.
Photo by James Andanson/Sygma via Getty Images
Makeba, who would have turned 90 on 4 March 2022, was a hugely influential artist and an icon of African liberation and identity.
Dolly Rathebe (centre) in detail of the album cover for Dolly Rathebe & Elite Swingsters.
Gallo Music Publishing
Her celebration of black life, black beauty and black humanity through her films and music was subversive.
Tsepo Tshola during the memorial service of Hugh Masekela in 2018.
Frennie Shivambu/Gallo Images
Schooled in music through church, he was driven by a fierce sense of belonging to Lesotho where he was born, and neighbouring South Africa.
Moeletsi Mabe/The Times/Gallo Images/Getty Images
The revered trombonist, composer and cultural activist never wished to be ‘the state composer’ but remained political until the end, in service of the people.
A group of colleagues taking up the viral #JerusalemaDanceChallenge in Cape Town.
Like Pata-Pata, Homeless and Mbube, the song Jerusalema is elevated by a historical moment in time and has the power to cross over to different audiences.
Jürgen Schadeberg in 1955 with trainee photographers at Drum, Peter Magubane, left, and Bob Gosani. Both became well-known photographers.
© Jürgen Schadeberg
The gift of his images lies in their depiction of the social worlds that apartheid sought to destroy, but that live on through the photographs.
Senegal’s singer Ismael Lo performs during the second Pan-African Cultural Festival (PANAF) in Algeria in 2009.
Pan-African festival marked the emergence of a post-imperial world
Jonas Gwangwa in 2010.
The politics of Jonas Gwangwa’s music have stayed constant over the years, and are also apparent in the eight albums he has released in South Africa since returning from 30 years of exile.
Dorothy Masuku composed and recorded close to 30 singles, several of which achieved major hit status.
Madelene Cronje/ Mail & Guardian
Songstress Dorothy Masuku once told South Africa’s public broadcaster that music was like breathing for her.
Jonas Gwangwa performing in Germany in 2010.
South African jazz veteran Jonas Gwangwa has been getting recognition for the pivotal role he played in ‘singing down apartheid.’
Hugh Masekela’s 30 years of exile began shortly after the Sharpeville Massacre.
Hugh Masekela’s itinerary-in-exile was loud and clear in his songs.
Hugh Masekela performing during the 16th Cape Town International Jazz Festival.
Esa Alexander/The Times
South African trumpeter Hugh Masekela made an impact across the world during his decades-long musical career.
Andile Gumbi beats down his opponent Given Mkhize in the King Kong musical.
The returned musical “King Kong” embodies the germinating seeds of two potential and mutually exclusive South Africas.
Meshack Mavuso played the role of ‘The Man with the Green Blanket’ in ‘Marikana the Musical’
Two musicals set in working class mining communities – one in the UK and the other in South Africa – have diametrically opposed messages: one of hope; the other, despair.
Papa Wemba’s coffin at a memorial in Kinshasa on May 3 2016.
Papa Wemba was one of the most active ambassadors of Congolese urban music on the global stage. He did this by fusing international musical styles with authentic Congolese grooves.
Sathima Bea Benjamin was seldom recognised during her lifetime as a performer.
Ian Bruce Huntley
It took ages for one of African jazz’s hidden masterpieces to be reissued. Still today, four decades later, 1976’s ‘African Songbird’ tells volumes about the politics of the time.